Many of us spend our days buzzing about from one activity to the next without awareness. We’re in a frantic pace most of the day. While we continue to move at such a rapid pace, we only allow more time for more things to fit into our schedules. It’s an endless cycle.
To slow down the pace of our lives, we must actually slow down. When we slow down, fewer things will be able to fit into our lives. The things in which we engage then gain our full attention and become more enjoyable, because we are more relaxed and less distracted.
The best time to begin to slow down your pace is during vacation. Without normal commitments, you can create a simple agenda. Sleep as much as you want. Soak in the bathtub. Savor each bite of your meal. Be a sloth. Move slowly, aware of each and every movement. Take naps. Seek the depth in nature. Take long walks. Lie on the earth. Watch animals. Do nothing.
Move through your days with ease. Make your travel arrangements so that you can have a day or two at home to transition into your regular life, while maintaining the harmony you found on vacation. Continue to apply these principles of living gracefully. Stop overbooking and under resting. If you are contemplating adding to your schedule, check to make sure everything aligns with your passions.
You don’t need to do everything that comes your way. Say no to things that will add stress or complicate your life. Keep life simple. Listen to your intuition to guide you to the right answer.
Give yourself time
Unless you have absolute clarity and certainty that you should immediately accept an offer, wait to respond. Give yourself some time, perhaps a day, before you agree to do anything to avoid being overwhelmed with opportunities. Think about what things you really want to do.
Check in with the pace of your present lifestyle. How can you establish a slower rhythm in your day? What is one thing you can change in your daily routine to gain more energy and peace in your life? Do you take breaks? Take the opportunity for a break right now. Close your eyes and relax. Take a few deep breaths. By taking several breaks throughout the day, you will not only be calmer, but more efficient, as well. It is a beautiful paradox that by slowing down, you will be more effective. Allow your thoughts to slow by focusing on your breathing. Release distractions and everything that you cannot control; give your attention only to what you can.
Moving through life at an amazing pace is fine, as long as that speed allows for ease and peace. If it doesn’t, then it’s time to slow your pace. With breaks, you gain greater efficiency. By removing unnecessary tasks from your life, you gain time. If you still find there’s too much on your plate to eliminate a hectic, harried lifestyle, delegate your tasks to your partner, co-worker, friend or child. The more activities we try to squeeze into our day, the more irritable we become. How joyful or aware can we be when we rush from one activity to the next without transitioning or enjoying ourselves?
A day as a cat
Imagine a day in the life of a cat. It wakes up when it’s hungry, eats and saunters about its space, allowing whatever captivates its attention to be its total focus.
Can you imagine spending day after day like a cat? No books, televisions, computers, cars or work. If someone supported you, fed you and cleaned up after you, how long would you be able to do nothing and enjoy it?
The idea seems ridiculous, doesn’t it? But if it’s appropriate for animals, why isn’t it appropriate for us? There aren’t many chronically stressed cats. But nearly all adults are walking around stressed every day – waking to alarm clocks, surviving on prescription medications and caffeine, fighting between anxiety and insomnia.
Tips to remove stress
Why do we allow this stress in our bodies and our minds? How do we eliminate it?
The first step to removing stress from your life is to get present by slowing down. Weigh every single action in your day with two questions:
- Is it absolutely mandatory that I do this activity?
- Is this activity going to bring me more peace and joy?
A negative response to either question gives you your answer. However, it does not necessarily mean that you should not do your activity, if not doing it will create greater consequences and stress for you than doing it. Consider altering the activity in some way or change your perception of it.
Remember to relax. The slower and more conscious you are, the more ease you will cultivate in your life.